Snowmass Village, Fat Tuesday go together like red beans and rice |

Snowmass Village, Fat Tuesday go together like red beans and rice

Mardi Gras revelers crowd the Snowmass mall on Fat Tuesday. Expect more of the same on Feb. 21.
File photo

Watching their son catch as many beads as he could at the Mardis Gras bead toss is Sherill Olson’s fondest memory of the annual Snowmass Village celebration. And this year, she and her husband, Brian, will be the ones tossing the beads to the crowds as the 2023 Mardi Gras king and queen.

“We love that we get to represent Snowmass and this amazing community,” she said.

Mardi Gras has been a Snowmass Village tradition for 41 years and brings a plethora of festivities to the community on Fat Tuesday, which falls on Feb. 21 this year.

In addition to the annual bead toss, there will be the Bud Light HiFi Concert featuring SNACKTIME, a performance from DJ Romy, and children’s activities such as facepainting and bubbles. Those events will take place at Snowmass Base Village, starting with the bead toss at 3:15 p.m. and followed by the concert at 3:30 p.m. Art of Air stilt walkers and jugglers will rove around Snowmass Base Village from 3-5 p.m., adding a carnival atmosphere to the concert.

2019 Mardi Gras queen Lindsay Cagley puts beads around children in Snowmass Base Village. (File photo)
File photo

“Mardi Gras is one of our most beloved winter traditions,” said Rose Abello, tourism director of Snowmass Tourism, in a press release. “We are thrilled to celebrate Fat Tuesday with music, performers, and beads, beads, beads! We are also so proud to honor Sherrill and Brian Olson, who have been a part of the Snowmass community for many years. Their commitment to Snowmass makes them the ideal pick as this year’s royalty.” 

Sherill has lived in Snowmass for over 30 years and Brian for over 40. He began working at the police department in 1987 and now serves as the police chief. Sherill serves as the assistant general manager at the Top of the Village Condominiums. They have participated in the Mardi Gras festivities for as long as she could remember and were surprised to be chosen as this year’s royalty.

“(Mardi Gras) brings us all together. There’s so many guests and locals that come here to celebrate,” she said.

A participant dressed as a mime partakes in Snowmass Mardi Gras festivities, photographed by Devon Meyers for the Feb. 13, 1986 edition of The Aspen Times. (Aspen Historical Society, Aspen Times Collection/Courtesy image)
Aspen Historical Society, Aspen Times Collection/Courtesy image

Performers, DJs, & Snowmass S’mores

Elsewhere at the Snowmass Mall, which is up the hill from Snowmass Base Village, DJ Romy will spin festive tunes, while Kidtoons features facepainting, bubbles, and other children’s activities from 1-3 p.m. Snowmass Tourism’s daily Snowmass S’mores takes place on the mall only, starting at 3:30 p.m. 

The 31st Annual Mother of All Ascensions 

Uphill racers make their way up Fanny Hill to Gwyn’s High Alpine (now High Alpine) during the Mother of All Ascensions held Feb. 25, 2020. (File photo)
File photo

The 31st Annual Mother of All Ascensions returns to Snowmass in 2023. Participant can use snowshoes, AT boots, telemark gear, or stabilizers to complete the route from Snowmass Base Village to the High Alpine Marketplace in one go — 2,073 feet of elevation gain — from Feb. 21-26. This year, there is no specific race on Fat Tuesday. Instead, participants must register for the race online and have six days to complete the course. All participants must follow Aspen Skiing Co. uphill guidelines. Participation is still allowed without an Aspen Snowmass uphilling pass; however, participants must sign a waiver at registration. Registration is $30, and $15 from every registration is donated to the Aspen Hope Center. Goodie bags and prize giveaways are included in the registration fee. For more details and to register, visit

For more information on the Mardi Gras lineup, please visit